[log in to unmask] wrote:

> His so-called friends should
> be publicly hanged and then drawn and quartered for putting him in
> that spot.  All the guy needed was a friendly face and some moral
> support and company on perhaps the only day he will ever spend on the
> side of a mountain in winter as a result of this experience.  Was that
> really less important than getting in one more run?
I started this thread so I feel compelled to respond to jwbjr's
question. The answer is no, the safety of the guy should have been more
important than one more run even on a powder day. But at the time, my
first thought after a brief interaction with the guy was to catch up to
his *friends* who I figured would be just below the ridgeline waiting
for him. I intended to politely suggest that they, not me and not Ski
Patrol, look after this guy whom *they* had brought to the summit so
late in the day. Surely these goobers should have been able to ascertain
by 3 pm the ability level of all in their group. Of course, once we did
not catch the *friends*, we began to regret leaving the guy alone and
possibly in way over his head.

> When I began skiing one of the things I loved was the camaraderie one experienced
> with "strangers" in the sport...<snip>...The challenges still exist but much of the
> spirit of fun is gone.

The spirit of fun is still there in the sport. Take a look at any
beginner area and just watch the joy on the learners' faces as they
master the basic skills that will bring them years (hopefully) of
enjoyment on the slopes. Also, the pure joy on the faces of sliders
whizzing through the trees at Stowe, Jay, Smuggler's, etc. on a powder
day belies the fact that many still wring genuine pleasure out of

Last season, we met a couple on the quad lift at Stowe only because a
skier sensed that my SU and I (in the single line-up) were together and
suggested I take his seat so we could ride up together. Kirsten and I
hit it off with the other couple (Dave and Sue) on that lift ride. We
rode all day with them and shared one of our favorite runs, Tusk, at
day's end. Dave stills talks about that Tusk run as being the standout
run of his 2000-2001 season. We have since hosted Dave and Sue as
overnight guests in our home, and they plan on attending the Swampfest
III festivities (if it ever snows). So I opine that the spirit of
friendship and meeting strangers is still very much alive on the slopes.

And I do not think that we are morally or ethically compelled to serve
as Ski Patrol stand-ins for all the dolts out there who find themselves
on trails they are not prepared for. That's how I learned to ski -
brought to the top of Okemo and left by my college roommate to make my
own way down. It was brutal, I think I walked most of the way - no one
helped me and thankfully I did not get hurt. Thankfully also it was
Okemo. But similar errors of judgment happen every day on the slopes at
many areas, and IMO each such incident is not worthy of our involvement
or we may as well try and get certified as Patrol like Mr. Renson.

Finally, skiing and riding today is not all about fighting for space on
crowded McTrails - I can see why you'd want to shelter your guests from
that experience. There's the uncrowded woods and the vast backcountry to
be explored, unencumbered by the lift-carried masses.


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